Libertarian Transparency Caucus

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The Libertarian Transparency Caucus is an unofficial caucus of the Libertarian Party. It was founded in 2008 by Mike Seebeck, Paul Frankel, and Thomas Knapp. It is active as a caucus, and its legacy and impact lives on within the Libertarian Party.

Caucus Positions

  • The Libertarian Party leadership and operational structure exists for the benefit of the Members, and not the other way around.
  • As such, we hold that:
    • the operations and proceedings of the Libertarian Party at all levels should be completely open to all members.
    • operating in secrecy or outside open lines of communications damages the Party and creates cliques within the Party, as well as serves as a foundation for unproductive and unnecessary infighting and purges.
    • operating in secrecy or outside open lines of communications leads to corruption within the Party and derails it from its political mission.
    • we honor the spirit of the Dallas Accord, which unified the minarchists and anarchists, because the Dallas Accord while serving as the foundation for the Party also discourages such secret cliques and groups within the Party.
    • Party meetings should be available to all members, not just those attending in person, and that the right to broadcast Party meetings to the membership around the nation shall not be infringed or denied by the Party.


The turmoil of 2008 surrounding outspoken LNC At-large Member Angela Keaton, after the tumultuous 2008 Libertarian National Convention that almost split the Party, was a primary reason for the formation of the caucus. In September 2008, the idea of the caucus formed when the Libertarian National Committee meeting in Washington DC was covered in Independent Political Report as well as the internal controversy and infighting within the LNC, caused primarily by the perceived-to-some clique known to this caucus as the "Starr Chamber". In December 2008 the controversy involving Ms. Keaton came to a head at the LNC Meeting in San Diego. It was there that the Transparency Caucus became official with the LNC meeting being webcasted live to the nation by Mr. Seebeck and Tweeted by Mr. Frankel and Mr. Knapp to both Twitter and IPR. The Caucus remains active to this day and the webcasting of LNC meetings and conventions became the norm, accomplishing at least that part of its original mission, which also continues to this day. The Transparency Caucus founders are still active in and around the Libertarian Party in various ways.


Letter Regarding the National Convention 2022 Electronic Voting Controversy

In March 2022 the Libertarian Party attempted to roll out electronic voting at the 2022 National Convention two months beforehand without a proper vetting of the software, proper user training, and with an inherent conflict of interest between the LNC and its developer, who is an LNC member. The Caucus objected vocally to this underhanded move, just as it did when this was attempted previously in a similar manner in 2010. The objections are outlined in the following statement:

March 31, 2022

Libertarian Transparency Caucus Objects to Electronic Voting at Reno

In the dark of the night, last night, circa 1 AM MDT, the Libertarian Party Convention Oversight Committee announced that it intends to make electronic voting available to the Convention Delegates at the 2022 Libertarian National Convention in Reno over Memorial Day weekend.

The Libertarian Transparency Caucus objects to this late blindside for a myriad of reasons, both technological and ethical.

Michael Seebeck, co-founder of the Libertarian Transparency Caucus, is 22-year member of the Party, during which he has served in multiple positions within multiple state parties and county affiliates, was the chief teller for the 2020 Libertarian National Convention, and was also the Libertarian Party of California National Convention Delegation Whip in 2010.  He is also a 25-year senior Software and Systems Engineer in the aerospace industry, a Security+-certified software security expert, and has a long resume of software development that has, among other things, helped to put GPS satellites in orbit and a rover on Mars.  He is uniquely qualified to comment upon this situation because of the convergence of his professional and Party resumes.

Seebeck says:

“The idea of electronic voting at a national convention, or at any convention, is, in concept, a good idea.

“However, the current implementation, just like it was attempted in 2010 before that Convention in St. Louis, is very suspect and fraught with problems.

“It should be noted that this software was attempted to be used at the 2020 Convention and the effort was abandoned during the Convention, both because bugs and performance issues were discovered while in use, and the nature of the hybrid Convention made it untenable at that time.

“Two years have passed since then, and here we go again.

“What has happened in those two years to the software?  We don’t know.

  • Has it been through a proper development iteration and release cycle, either Agile or Waterfall?
  • Where is the design documentation, use cases, bug reports, requirements documents, security reports, and user manual?
  • Where is the source code?  Has it been properly designed and implemented using industry-best software practices? What language is it in?  What SDK platform was it developed on? Has it been scanned for issues using an accredited this-party software such as Coverity or Fortify for resolution of security issues and bad coding practices?
  • Is it secure software and has it been properly tested for that security, including penetration testing and DDOS attacks, among many others such as XSS, MIM, and worst case, insider threats?
  • Has it been unit tested and regression tested?  Or are we, the Convention, the guinea pigs yet again?  Where is the test documentation and test cases?
  • How will Delegates and Alternates be validated as users versus an intruder, hacker, or impersonator?  Does it use 2-factor authentication?  3-factor?  Biometrics?
  • What happens if it fails?  What’s the backup, MTTR, or recovery plan?
  • Has the software been independently audited and certified for use by anyone?

“Those are the base technological questions.  But there are also questions that need to be answered that are specific to the Party:

  • Do the votes have a retained record of who voted for whom?  How secure is that record?  How is it backed up and how frequently?  Who can access it?  How does that come into play with an audit?
    • Can it be configured for the various forms of voting that the Party uses?
    • Can it handle the scenario of dropping the lowest vote getter and those not getting 5%? (President/Vice-President, Officers)
    • Can it handle the scenario of voting for up to X candidates but they must get a majority vote? (Judicial Committee, LNC At-Large)
    • Can it handle a change in voting caused by a rules change by the Delegates to ranked-choice voting, or approval voting, or something else?  Can it tally those correctly?
    • Can it properly delineate between a vote for people and NOTA?
    • Can it handle write-ins?
    • Can it disqualify bad ballots? (Convention Rule 8-2-a)
  • Can it handle dropping candidates between ballots in real-time?
  • Can it handle the substitution of Delegates and Alternates by the state delegations? (Bylaws Article 10, Section 6)
  • Does it track the credentialed numbers and quorum numbers to make sure a vote is valid in the first place?  Does it do that by the whole convention, by state, or how?
  • How does a Delegate sign their ballot as the Bylaws require?
  • How will the technology be delivered to delegates or alternates that are credentialed and seated by floor votes, so all of those eligible can vote?
  • Conversely, how will the technology be removed from persons that are removed as delegates either by floor vote or other means (such as expulsion from the Convention), so all of those ineligible cannot vote?
  • If a Delegate or Alternate does not have a cell phone or tablet, or is unable to access a web or app version from a PC or Mac on the floor, due to power constraints of the convention floor (an ongoing unaddressed problem), reception problems, or an overloaded convention center wireless network, how are those external logistic issues addressed?
  • How is it even slightly acceptable to allow remote voting from other than the convention floor?  This is discussed in their proposal, but the methodology is inadequate and subject to manipulation, and increased time as it adds an unnecessary layer of tabulation. In the case of a hybrid convention like what occurred in 2020, it would be impossible to implement.

“And on top of all of that, how does ANY of this match up to Convention Rule 10, which requires a paper trail from each state delegation to the tellers?  Does this eliminate the tellers and the necessary manual verification of the votes in favor of a technology that is black-boxed from the Delegates and Alternates?

“There’s too many unknowns and unexplaineds in play here.

“But wait, there’s more!

“A proper rollout of this technology would have involved over a year of barnstorming of explanations, demonstrations, software shakedowns and adjustments, and training at each state convention at a minimum, so that Party Members and potential Delegates and Alternates could see this in action and work with it, Beta testing, really, in a non-binding manner, so we would have confidence in it going into a National Convention, instead of being blindsided at the last moment.  This would also allow the development team (whomever they are, we Delegates and Alternates don’t know who they are, either!) to sort out any bugs and fine-tune the software before it would be rolled out to “prime time.”  This has not happened.

“Note this objection was also raised when this was tried in 2010, but then it was computerized voting booths, instead of web pages or apps, which would have slowed any Convention to a reverse crawl.  Mr. Lonnie Holcomb (ID) and myself asked for all of the information noted above.  The LNC at that time told us Delegates, “Trust us.” We said, “No, show us the paper trail.” It was never tested, let alone implemented, and that was over a decade ago.  Yet here we are again, in the same situation.

“Plus, there is one more fundamental problem, and that is one of ethics and poor optics.

“The software has been primarily developed by a current LNC member.  LNC members would be elected by this software.  Whether the developer is a member of any caucus is irrelevant, and besides the point, which is that the developer of the voting software is a person in a group who has a direct interest in how that group’s members are elected by that the software.  That on its very surface, prima facie, can easily lead to accusations of impropriety, whether they are unfounded or not (it doesn’t matter), and that’s unacceptable.  It’s poor optics to have a LNC member introduce opaque black-box software that…elects LNC members!

“The bottom line is that this is a repeat of the problems of 2010 and should be rejected for the reasons now as there were then, because little has changed except the players and some of the technology.  The implementation methodology and problems are the same.

”The proper way to do it is to have the development be completely separate from the LNC, have all of its development and documentation open to inspection and audit by qualified Party Members, and then engage the Membership in a proper rollout and shakedown demonstration tour in all 50 states and DC to familiarize and train them on its use.

“After that level of transparency and scrutiny and training has been met and approved, then maybe it should be put into play.  But until then, it cannot be just assumed to be ready to go and thrust upon the Delegates without good warning or notice.  That’s not fair to either the Delegates or the developers, nor is it proper software development, especially for something as important and crucial as voting software.”


The Libertarian Transparency Caucus strongly encourages all National Convention Delegates to reject this proposal for the 2022 National Convention and for the developers to do this properly and openly instead, for perhaps 2024 or 2026.